Christianity Is So, Well, Tribal

This is a critical thing to say.  But, for the most part, it fits today’s conservative wing of the Christian religion.

To be tribal is to circle the wagons, make judgements about the other tribe and lob insults over the fence to them.  It is to believe that our tribe is good, the other tribe is bad.

One place the script plays out is in the belief that there is a satan.  The other tribes are infected with satan and unclean. 

It also involves being judgemental.  How the other tribe looks and how its members act is subject to our judgemental scrutiny.

That current Christianity follows tribal customs is not surprising.  It’s instructional manual, the Bible, was written at a time when the world was still made up largely of tribes.  The Bible refers to these tribes.  They believed the earth was flat and never traveled more than a few miles from where they were born.

The problem with holding on to these tribal beliefs is that members now can visit the other tribe.  What they are finding is that the other tribe is not as bad as portrayed by local tribal mythology.  Technology has brought the younger members in contact with the other tribe and there is intermarriage.

The Bible is filled with tribal rules and tribal lore.  This includes ideas like we should not eat certain foods at the same time, women are the property of men, the sun revolves around the earth and, of course, the vague reference to gays. 

The sooner we leave all this behind and deal with the world as it is today, the better off we will all be.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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3 Responses to Christianity Is So, Well, Tribal

  1. Brad Campbell says:

    Interesting

    The more people take what the Bible says and apply it to their lives the better off society will be.

    A secular nonreligious utopia of a society will never happen. Religion in one form or another has been around since there has been mankind. Religion will always be part of human society no matter how hard a tiny fraction of unbelievers try to “bury” it.

    I get a smile on my face when I am in church on Weds or Sundays and see my 15 yr old twins beside me taking sermon notes.

    The Lord’s Prayer: the single most impressive paragraph every written.

    LOL…..the “other tribe” is trying to tell me how to live my life and what to believe and what I believe is nonsense. Keep trying!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Brad–Thanks for the comments. You are certainly correct that there is no utopia is sight, religion or no religion. On “diminshing marginal returns” I was referring to the return from marginal or additional advertising, not from an investment in faith. If you are receiving increasing returns on your faith and I’m happy for you. On better societies, with or without religion, of course things happen for many reasons. It certainly appears, as if many wars have been fought in the name of religion. Europe, for example had many. Europe has not had these kind of wars since becoming more secular. But, things happen for complex reasons–maybe the wars would have happened anyway for other reasons. My only point is that many want to codify religion into our government. This often, though not always, makes things worse. Better is a society where people, like yourself, follow faith in their private lives. All of us should work to keep it out of government and politics.

  2. PK says:

    I agree that government shouldn’t team up with organized religion. But should we leave the 10 commandments behind too? Some of them are actual civil laws. I don’t think you can deny the fact that if everyone on the planet followed them, this world would be a nice place to live.

    I don’t make judgments about people based on what they believe. I base them on their fruits. And I certainly don’t cast insults to anyone.

    The bible says pigs are unclean. Science has found they are full of worms, that’s why you have to cook it thoroughly, and you’re still eating the dead worms. Coincidence perhaps. How does my choice for not eating certain things effect society negatively?
    Mr. Lindgren you must realize that most organized Christianity isn’t biblical, it’s pagan sun-worship. Catholicism being the mother of all harlots. It’s easy to see, just look at all of our holy-days. They’re all celebrated on pagan festival dates from December 25 to Easter to St. Valentines Day. Mary is now worshiped as a goddess, and so on. So it’s unfair and not wise of you to judge the bible based on how some “Christians” behave. You should read the bible and then judge it if you haven’t.

    The bible doesn’t say that women are the property of men. It says for women to obey your husbands, and for men to love your wives as God loves his church. It’s not barbaric or tribal, it just makes sense. Could the horrible state of the world today maybe be due to a disconnect from God and his laws?

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